Noticias Univision 34: Primera Edición: A Lesson in Underlying Transphobia?

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You’ve probably already seen the video, maybe even laughed at the appalling sight of the “scuffle” caught on tape.

Recently, Noticias Univisión 34 Primera Edición streamed a YouTube video during their 5 a.m.-7a.m. morning news broadcast, consisting of raw footage from a fight that took place among several transgender women at a San Diego Taco Bell restaurant. Pejoratively dubbed the “Ten Person Drag Queen Fight” by various websites and online sources, this video received nearly 200,000 views on one YouTube account alone.

While the video quality renders dark and unstable camera shots at various points, one can easily see that the main protagonists are transgender women dressed in party attire. The fight caught on tape vividly captures a brawl.

However, it is not the video that is noteworthy, but rather the shocking manner in which the seemingly objective anchors themselves referred to the situation.

At several points during the brief airing of the video, we see the Univisión 34 anchors Gabriela Teissier and Francisco Pinto laugh mockingly during the broadcast, pointing out “notable details”, making them appear as freak show characters on screen. Pinto even commented that what we had was probably a fight of who was better dressed.

Implications carried by light comments such as these run much deeper and serve as a painful reminder of existing intolerance for members of the LGBTQ community. Both anchors did not blatantly say negative things about transgender women or transgender people as a whole, yet one shouldn’t disregard the offensive way in which they referred to the fight and those involved.

The conclusion they reached was that the “drag queens” were having a “sissy” fight, both misgendering and belittling the women in question. Ultimately, it’s saddening to acknowledge that even when it comes to professional newsgathering and reporting, journalistic values are questioned given the underlying cisheteronormative bias these anchors seem to abide by. Such use of sensationalism in the media is offensive to those in the LGBTQ community.

Showcasing this YouTube video as a humorous situation and not treating it with the same level and degree of professionalism where transgender people are not in question is a definite error of judgment on their part.

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About the author

Annel Estrada

Annel Estrada is a twenty-two year old Mexicana, originaria de San Antonio Guaracha, Michoacan, Mexico. Estrada is currently double majoring in Journalism and Chicano/Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She enjoys her work as a student assistant at the Women's Resource Center. Curling up with a good book, listening to 80s music, spending time with her loved ones and eating Fuji apples, are without a doubt just some of the things that make Annel a very happy person.

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  • Bamby

    Gracias preciosa for bringing light to issues that people in general do not necessarily see. These type of comments are part of the reasons why our community continues to be mistreated and attack in more ways than one…

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